I’m perfectly relaxed about today’s semi-final because I realise that this team isn’t that good and expect them to be beaten handily by South Africa. Reality check – so far they have beaten Holland, Ireland and New Zealand without their only two decent batsmen (Ryder and Taylor).

This isn’t to say that I’ve been disappointed with the team’s performances. As far I was concerned, the match against Ireland was their final and they showed fantastic collective nerve to win it so easily, given what had gone on before.

So despite vagaries such as why Fawad Alam aka The Neither Rounder is in the team, and what the hell happened to Shoaib and Misbah’s batting, I’m happy. Besides, this South African team is so incredibly balanced that I think they deserve to at least get to the final (of course provided they perform today).

They’ve got a mix of batsman and hitters, lefties and righties, an offspinner and a left arm spinner – heck even their opening bowlers have the right and left arm combination going on. They’ve recovered from Sean Pollock’s retirement and gone back to the old days of batting down to number 10 and the Morkel/Boucher axis should be crucial at the end of a tight run chase. Like Spain at the Euros last year, it will also save us the South African chokers story which comes up at every major tournament.

Why the love for North Korea??? They are completely different from a country like Iran where the population is broadly supportive of and inspired by the football team.

This is a country where the majority of the population is malnourished to the point of depravity, not because of natural disasters, but the whims of a psychotic dictator.

They also have a ridiculously large army, which is the only segment of the population which is fed, and god knows how many political prisoners wasting away in gulags.

Maybe exposure for North Korea through their football team will have some positive impact, but I’m not seeing it. I know sometimes it seems that Pakistan is the worst country in the world, but we don’t even come close to North Korea.

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